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Chief Quinlan: Officer Coy Must Be Terminated

Dec 24, 2020

Issuing a statement that he's seen everything he needs to see to reach the conclusion, Columbus Police Chief Tom Quinlan today recommended the termination of Officer Adam Coy.

Early Tuesday morning, Coy shot and killed an unarmed Andre Hill and failed to activate his body camera before the shooting.

Quinlan went on to say that Coy violated his oath to comply with the rules and policies of the Columbus Division - and it cost an innocent man his life.

"I have filed two departmental charges alleging critical misconduct against Officer Coy," Quinlan said. "After an expedited investigation, I have sustained those charges. Based on these findings, I am recommending discipline of termination. Today, Officer Coy will be served notice of the charges against him. My recommendations now go to the public safety director."

Quinlan also responded to questions about why he has not made any comments about the case until now.

"I have spent every waking minute evaluating the facts of this horrific shooting, the legal options at my disposal, and setting the necessary process in motion," Quinlan said. "Mayor Ginther and Safety Director Pettus have been the public voices on this. It was critical that I attended to the urgent matter of completing an expedited investigation to deliver to Director Pettus."  

Quinlan also said any other officers found to have violated policy will be held accountable. Director Pettus is expected to approve of the firing Monday morning.

Here's Quinlan's full statement and a link to the video:

Today is Christmas Eve.  A time when we should be gathering with those we love.  The family of Andre Hill has nothing to celebrate this holiday.  Someone very important won’t be with them this holiday, or any other.  A Columbus Police Officer is responsible for that.  And that breaks my heart.

This is why today I am announcing action to terminate Officer Adam Coy.

I have filed two departmental charges alleging critical misconduct against officer Coy.  After an expedited investigation, I have sustained those charges. Based on these findings, I am recommending discipline of termination.  

Today Officer Coy will be served notice of the charges against him, and my recommendations now go to Director of Public Safety.  

The process of departmentally charging an officer typically includes a hearing before the Chief of Police before a determination of wrongdoing, or any discipline.  In this case, I have bypassed that step. 

Like all of you, I witnessed his critical misconduct firsthand via his body-worn camera.  I have seen everything I need to see to reach the conclusion that Officer Coy must be terminated, immediately.

Some may call this a rush to judgment. It is not. 

We have an officer who violated his oath to comply with the rules and policies of the Columbus Division of Police. And the consequences of that violation are so great, it requires immediate action.  This violation cost an innocent man his life.

There are two administrative investigations underway.  This first investigation is related to Officer Coy’s unreasonable use of deadly force, failure to activate his body-worn camera, and failure to render aid to Mr. Hill.

The second investigation pertains to the additional officers involved in this incident who either failed to activate their body-worn cameras or failed to render aid. Any other officers found to have violated policy will be held accountable.   

I have taken these steps in consultation with the Columbus City Attorney’s Office.

As Chief of Police, it is solely my duty to bring charges against officers, make recommendations for discipline, and deliver my findings to the Director of Public Safety. 

Some have asked why they haven’t seen me publicly over the last 48 hours.  This is why.  I have spent every waking minute evaluating the facts of this horrific shooting, the legal options at my disposal, and setting the necessary process in motion.  

Mayor Ginther and Safety Director Pettus have been the public voices on this. It was critical that I attended to the urgent matter of completing an expedited investigation to deliver to Director Pettus.  

The next step in this process is a hearing before the Public Safety Director.  That will happen Monday morning, after which the Director will rule on my recommendation of termination.

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is handling the criminal investigation of Mr. Hill’s death.  Whether Officer Coy violated the law is for BCI to investigate, and a prosecutor to determine.  And I have full faith in their ability to conduct a complete, impartial, and just investigation.

I am a father and grandfather.  I cannot fathom the pain Andre Hill’s family is feeling right now.  He was taken from them by violence. Preventable violence. Senseless violence. This didn’t have to happen, and it never should have.

Andre Hill should be with his family this holiday. 

I ask this community to wrap their arms around his family, and join me in praying for their comfort.